Can We Just Forget About Valentine's Day?
So whether you've spent the day nestled in the arms of your loved one or pigging out on chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream, take the time to get drunk with your best buddies and a shmaltzy movie. Because booze, actually, is all around us.
Drunk Actually: The Rules
1. Drink for Title Drops. This means every time they say the words "Love" or "Actually." Fair warning, the British love to modify sentences.
2. Drink for Daddy Issues. You'll be reaching for that sort of thing in this movie, but I think it's there if you look.
3. Drink when they drink. There's a wedding and a couple parties. Trust me, you'll be fine.
4. Drink whenever a person playing the game cries.
All of the above rules apply. Also...
1. Drink whenever two people onscreen kiss, on the lips.
2. Drink whenever a person playing the game says "awwwww".
3. Take a shot for the full title drop, "Love Actually".
All of the above rules apply. Also...
1.Drink whenever two people onscreen exchange longing looks. This is usually accompanied by sweet musical underscoring, and lasts three to five seconds.
2. Drink whenever a person playing the game makes a groan of frustration or sexual arousal.
These rules are experimental. They vary depending on the group of people playing the game. All it takes is one sensitive guy in the group to ruin things for the rest of the players. So if you want to get drunk, invite that chick from your poetry class you've been trying to cozy up to.
Flux: She marvels that romance ever used to be this difficult (Easy)
Krissy Pappau (Me): She loves the sheer amount of eye candy in this movie (Medium)
Paul: He's a romantic, but his alter ego Big Moose would rather have a good time (Medium)
The Fuzzy Masked Man: There's one scene he always cries at. No, he won't tell you which one (Hard)
Join us in watching THE romantic comedy of the 20th century!
All You Need (To Get Drunk) is Love
A choir appearing out of nowhere and singing "Love, Love, Love" for a minute straight? How could I forget about this scene? I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.
Readers, my advice to you. Just finish your drink. Don't ask questions. And keep in mind that you are only ten minutes into this movie.
The Crying Game
However, that's not what had us crying the hardest. I haven't watched this movie in years, and so I didn't notice Liam Neeson's unfortunate coincidence.
In 2009, Natasha Richardson, Liam Neeson's wife, died in a skiing accident, and Neeson is still grieving. So it's unfortunate that in this movie, six years earlier, he plays a man whose wife has died, leaving him with her son. We were all struck by the beautiful sadness Liam inhabited as he went to pieces on the screen, and it only took the the thought of him doing so in real life to send some of us (me) over the edge.
Where's the Line Between Cute and Creepy?
Since he's been outed as being head-over-heels for her, what does he have to lose or gain by telling her everything? By telling her he loves her, he's putting his cards on the table and letting them lie. But is this really okay?
Paul and Flux both argue, no, not at all. "You don't say things like that to people," says Paul. "Because then that happens," adds Flux as Keira plants a kiss on her admirer, "And nothing that comes after that is good."
They have a point: what happens to Andrew Lincoln after this scene? Does he dive into the London Underground and sleep with as many girls who will let him, just to cleanse his mind of Keira's shiny teeth? It's depressing to think about.
The Ridiculous Orgy Fantasy
Colin would stand a good chance of getting some strange in any American city. But his friend would stand an even better chance.
"I Feel Nothing"
Only Flux and The Bishop remained stoic. But when questioning The Bishop, we got an interesting answer.
"I don't believe in love."
Not at all? What about Divine Love?
"Well, sure, I believe in Divine Love. But I don't believe in romantic love."
Aren't they the same thing, at bottom?
Sadly, before The Bishop could answer, we were distracted by this.
"It's rare to see the level of arousal physically rise in a room like that," marveled The Fuzzy Masked Man.
"This. This is Why I Hate this Movie."
But he crosses a line in Love Actually. He cheats on Emma Thompson.
Of course Emma finds out, and she confronts Alan about the affair, but never gets a satisfactory answer (because the movie doesn't provide one!). But they stay married, and as far as we can tell, never discuss their problems again.
"And that's why this movie pisses me off," says Seb.
But they stay together. Which must mean they love each other.
"Yeah, but that doesn't mean they're fucking happy."
All we get from this subplot is the idea that marriage is a trap, and that staying with a man who betrayed you and burying your feelings is better than getting into a fight that might possibly end things.
This movie's getting depressing. As much as we're drinking, it's not enough.
Did I Forget Anybody?
The first rule of any romantic comedy is to inject just enough conflict to make the audience worried about the love story's inevitable happy ending. "Will they, won't they" tension is the lifeblood of the standard RomCom, which is what makes Love Actually unique. These stories DON'T always end happily. These relationships are more complex, and even the standard "Boy Meets Girl" set-ups are told in an interesting way. But writing about them would all come down to the same thing. These stories are sweet. They make me feel things. I'm so glad things worked out.
It is nice to see one subplot that isn't a strict romance, though. Bill Nighy (see, I'm talking about him) plays a washed-up pop star who's made his musical comeback with a terrible Christmas themed cover of "Love is All Around Me". Some of the best scenes of the movie involve his attempts to thwart the sugar-coated publicity crawl he's forced to make in order to make this song a hit and get some money.
The song becomes a hit, he's invited to all these fancy parties, but he forgoes the drunken celebrations to spend Christmas with his producer, the only person who stood by him and put up with his shit. That's pretty cool. And at the end of the day, as Shirley says, "All we really want is someone to get drunk and watch porn with".
Drink whenever someone says the word "Good".
The people in this movie are constantly covering up their feelings, saying things are fine when they actually aren't. Or perhaps they're staring their lover in the face and have run out of things to add to the conversation, so they mindlessly repeat "good" over and over again. Either way, this rule will work for you.
Drink whenever someone says the word "Christmas".
This is a Christmas movie more than a Valentine's Day movie, after all. The movie likes to remind you how close to Christmas it is throughout the two hours.
Drink whenever a plot thread is tied up.
The main problem with the game right now is that it's top heavy. You get drunker in the first half hour than you do at any other point, and there's a lot of movie. This rule should keep you buzzed until the bittersweet end.
Thanks again for reading! If you have any comments or questions, leave them below! As a send-off, here's a picture of what Martin Freeman was doing before he was in Sherlock.
For Your Inebriation is written by Krissy Pappau (Hollis Beck). Video footage is taken by Pooh Daddy (Vincent Graham) and edited by Seb (Amy Yourd). All "Love Actually" images are owned by Universal Pictures.